What Can Clog Your Drains and How to Prevent It

Having a clogged drain is one of the most frustrating household issues that can occur. Not only can it cause unpleasant odors, but it can also lead to water backup and potential damage to your plumbing system. Understanding what can clog your drains and how to prevent it is essential for maintaining a smoothly running home. This article will discuss common culprits that can clog your drains and provide tips on drain cleaning.


One of the primary culprits that can clog your drains is hair. Whether it's from showering or brushing your hair over the sink, strands of hair can easily accumulate in your pipes and create blockages. To prevent this, consider installing a drain cover in your shower or sink to catch loose hair before it goes down the drain. Regularly cleaning out these covers can help prevent clogs from forming.

Food scraps

Another common cause of drain clogs is food scraps being washed down the kitchen sink. Grease, oil, and solid food particles can build up in your pipes over time and create blockages. To avoid this, be mindful of what you're putting down the garbage disposal and avoid washing large amounts of food scraps down the drain. Instead, scrape plates into the trash before rinsing dishes in the sink.

Soap scum

Soap scum is a sticky residue that forms when soap combines with hard water minerals. Over time, this buildup can line the inside of your pipes and restrict water flow. To prevent soap scum from clogging your drains, consider using liquid soap instead of bar soap, which produces less residue. Regularly cleaning out your drains with hot water or vinegar solutions can also help break down any existing scum buildup.

Foreign objects

Sometimes, items that aren't meant to go down the drain find their way into our pipes and cause blockages. Items like cotton swabs, dental floss, and paper towels should never be flushed down the toilet as they are not biodegradable and can get stuck in the plumbing system. To prevent foreign objects from clogging your drains, make sure everyone in your household knows what should and shouldn't be disposed of in sinks or toilets.

Mineral buildup

Hard water contains high levels of minerals like calcium and magnesium, which can accumulate in pipes over time and create blockages. If you notice reduced water pressure or slow drainage in your sinks or showers, mineral buildup may be to blame. Installing a water softener system can help reduce mineral deposits in your plumbing system and prevent future clogs.


Maintaining clean drains is crucial for keeping your home's plumbing system running smoothly. By understanding what can clog your drains — such as hair, food scraps, soap scum, foreign objects, and mineral buildup — you can take proactive steps to prevent blockages from occurring. Regularly cleaning out drains with natural solutions like hot water or vinegar can help break down potential blockages before they become major issues.

Contact a local company to learn more, like John’s Sewer and Drain Cleaning.